Could the next President be a woman?

Could the next President be a woman?


    Betfair opens new White House 2008 market

In just over a year’s time the potential candidates to be the next President will have to reveal their hands. For in order to get on the ballot for the first of the primaries, New Hampshire, formal nomination papers will have to be handed in during November and there’ll be fierce contest in both parties.

    And for the first time ever in the USA’s 230 year old history prominent women are being talked about as potential party nominees. Could it be that the next occupant of the White House is a woman?

This is the subject of a new market from Betfair which could stay in place right up to the first Tuesday in 2008 when the election will be held. The bet is straightforward – “Will the winner of the 2008 US Presidential Election be female? So you don’t even need to get the party right to win – just the gender.

What makes this really interesting is that it covers you if either of two leading contenders on either side should get it – Condoleezza Rice and Hilary Clinton. At the moment you can get 9/1 on Rice being the Republican nominee on Betfair while in the Democratic race Hilary is the 1.32/1 favourite.

The UK betting exchange price on Condoleezza Rice is now somewhat out of line with the polls. The last one to be taken had her on 20% trailing only the ex-Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, who was on 23%. The surveys on the Democratic choice have had Hilary Clinton as a clear favourite almost since the last White House race in 2004.

    Of course at this stage the polls are more about name recognition than anything else and Rice and Clinton are clearly two of the best known figures in US politics.

So far hardly any money has been traded on Betfair’s “Female President” market but current prices are YES 1.92/1: NO 0.31/1.

At that price YES might be an interesting bet covering a range of possibilities.

Mike Smithson

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